Toni Atkins proposes $52 tax fee to pay for roads

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SACRAMENTO - A plan to raise money for California infrastructure could end up costing each driver an extra $52 a year.

Assembly speaker Toni Atkins is proposing the state raise $2 billion to pay for damaged and crumbling roads and highways.

“Our state has six of the 10 cities with the worst road conditions in the nation,” said Atkins.

At the start of the year, a hidden gas tax legislation went into effect to help pay for the same problem. Recent hikes are due to overall tax revenue dropping as more fuel-efficient cars hit the road.

“Small price to pay for all the damage to your tires,” said San Diego resident Jill Krantz.

The fee could end up coming as an additional cost to driver’s insurance or registration payment.

“I’m paying enough taxes as it is so I don’t like it,” said San Diego resident Larry Copeland. "I feel like I’m paying enough in others areas – the utility company is about to increase their rates and I’ve had it.”

Richard Rider with San Diego Tax Fighters argues that Californians already pay very high gasoline and diesel tax; more than the majority of other states.

“Most of that money has been funneled off for others things, not roads and there is no guarantee this money will be spent on roads either,” said Rider. “There is nothing wrong with people who use the roads to pay for the roads, but we already do.”

The state is also looking at charging drivers by the miles they drive instead of a set price for everyone.

A two thirds vote of the legislature is required to pass it into law.


  • RichardRider

    Point of clarification: Californians do not just “already pay very high gasoline and diesel tax; more than the majority of other states.” We pay THE highest gasoline tax in the nation. We’re pay about the 3rd highest diesel tax. Our high figures jumped upwards after “cap and trade” taxes were implemented on 1 January, but it’s not yet clear how much that tax entails — probably 10-15 cents a gallon.

  • RichardRider

    Unstated in California Assemblywoman Toni Atkins’ proposed new annual $52 DMV driving “fee” for infrastructure is the bogus assumption that Californians pay too little taxes. False.


    * CA has by FAR the highest state income tax rate.

    * The highest state capital gains tax rate (2nd highest combined capital gains rate in the WORLD).

    * The highest state sales tax rate.

    * Easily the highest gasoline and diesel taxes.

    * The 10th highest homeowner property taxes.

    * The 6th highest state corporate tax rate.

    * The 2nd highest insurance premium sales tax rate (only 7 states even CHARGE such a tax).

    * Traffic ticket “fees” that are over TRIPLE what other states charge.

    CA state and local governments are AWASH in funds, but the Big Spenders will always claim that they need MORE. Tax dollars are fungible. By raising taxes for roads, that frees up EXISTING tax dollars to spent on Sacramento’s top priority — higher pay and bigger pensions for government workers. And yes, that IS the Democrat leadership’s top priority.

    BTW, does anyone in their right mind think that this new tax will STAY at $52? This the FIRST YEAR’s tax. Rest assured that, if implemented, this tax will increase annually at a brisk pace.

    Don’t buy into the “mo’ money” mantra. Insist on smarter spending of what we ALREADY pay. Reject this new tax.

    • jd

      California is also the most populated state in the US. Cars will continue to get better gas mileage, more people will take public transportation (especially when gas goes back up toward $5 /gal), which means fuel tax revenue will continue to go down.
      Here’s some suggestions for you “RICHARD RIDER”- walk, take the bus, or move to Texas

      • RichardRider

        In your dreams, JD. I’ll stick around and tell it like it is.

        BTW, as gas prices have soared in times past, how much did public transit usage increase — even after we’ve spent BILLIONS more on San Diego area choo-choos? We’ve tripled our VERY expensive transit track lines since the successful, highly used TJ trolley was put in, but increased overall trolley ridership only 20%.

        Yes, trolley ridership was up 10% last year, while bus ridership DECLINED slightly (3/4 of trolley riders are former BUS riders). But not mentioned in transit reports is how tiny a fraction of people transportation is carried by trains. Even a 50% increase would not be even a significant hiccup. And now gas prices will be relatively low for years to come, which doubtless ticks you off.

        More important, you avoid my central premise — Californians already pay too much in taxes. We ALREADY have the money for roads — if we want to control public employee pay and pensions. As a government employee, naturally you profit from this ripoff. And write anonymously.

        • nettt0

          How do you figure gas prices will be relatively low for years to come? Russia’s economy is crumbling because of the low gas prices, wells in the US are shut down because they aren’t profitable, OPEC is trying to cut output . The consumer and business love low fuel prices, not the oil companies. You think its going to take years before they start shutting down refineries for “maintenance” or there is an “accident” so they can jack up the prices again? Keep dreaming.
          California has the highest taxes in the nation? Why are people moving here or even moving back here- INCLUDING BUSINESSES? Why, if it’s such a terrible place and the taxes are too damn high? Where is this Utopia where you can have a prospering society, public education, safe neighborhoods, and not have to pay taxes? Oh yeah, in your dreams.

  • Carrie

    What about all those people that are covered under that new law that just passed allowing non-US citizens to apply for a driver’s license and drive over here? They don’t pay federal taxes either yet they are driving on our roads adding to the ware and tear on them. They need to help pay for this. The fees to fix our roads should be assessed at the DMV.

    • Freddy

      Best post yet Carrie. You’re right. If the illegals want a license then they should have to pay for it. Say an extra $500? This way as they illegally work here then send most of their money south of the border we atleast get ssomething back from the non tax paying government teet suckers!

    • RichardRider

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was my impression that illegal aliens who buy gasoline here pay our sky-high CA gas taxes — much of which is not even used on roads.

      • Freddy

        Richard I agree when they buy gasoline here they do pay the same gas taxes but how many of them live in Mexico and travel back and forth to the US to work under the table? They tend to buy their fuel in Mexico so they’re using our roads, taking jobs from Americans and then returning to Mexico. So it’s possible they’re not paying much in taxes here.

  • Freddy

    Does anyone ever notice the demoncrats always want to propose new legislation that includes raising taxes? Have you ever seen a demoncrat propose a tax cut or a budget reduction or cut in spending? Never. All they know how to do is come up with new laws that we don’t need and higher taxes. Liberalism is a disease.

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